Tag Archives: Chicago apartment design

The bedroom conundrum.

14 Apr

A few weeks ago, I showed you our gorgeous apartment. I neglected to include our bedroom in any of those photos, though. Why?

Mostly because we had a decorating budget when we moved in, and it went towards things like our first dining room table (yay!), a new couch (our old one wouldn’t fit up the stairs) and a bookshelf. Because really, hundreds of books stacked against a wall might look creative, but when you have a dog who runs the cat around for fun, they wouldn’t be stacked for long.

Since summer is coming up and we’re fairly certain we’ll be allowed to stay for only an extra $25-$35/month we’ve decided to tackle the bedroom and make it a better place to live once and for all. My issues with it are as follows:

1) It’s about 10×10, with a teeny closet and only one window.

2) Said window looks out onto a brick wall.

3) The paint color we chose to cover the dark brown (!) that was there when we moved in looked like a blush peach under the incandescent tester box at Lowe’s, but in our really, really, REALLY dimly lit room, it looks very pink.

Don’t believe me?

That photo was taken just before noon, when the sun is best in here, with all the lightbulbs on, adjusted white balance, an almost wide-open aperture, and a low shutter speed.

When we moved in, we were coming from a cushy 13×15 room with a normal-sized closet and room to walk around the bed. Being, well, us, we got all excited about the prospect of a new bed, and fell in love with this chunky wood bedframe from West Elm:


It looked gorgeous in the wide-open store, but it’s not so gorgeous when you stub your toe on that corner every single morning because you’re severely near-sighted and can’t clear the itty bitty corner where there’s maybe a foot of space between the radiator and the edge of the bed. Not that I know this from experience, or anything.

So what are we going to do about this?

Well, first and foremost: daylight bulbs. I know it’s not the same as sunlight, and I actually used to hate them. But I really hate how yellow incandescents are in there. I think the yellow tint is fine when you have real daylight to balance it out, but it just doesn’t work in an almost completely dark room.

And then, we’re putting a little money in it. If we’re going to live here for at least two more years, I think it’s worth it!

Chunky bed, goodbye. Hello canopy:


Plain white duvet that we’re too lazy to dress up when the room looks kind of crappy? You’ve been replaced. I don’t have a picture of the actual quilt, because I found it forgotten in the clearance corner of the store from who knows how many months (and markdowns, score!) ago. But my inspiration was this sheet set from Anthropologie:

Also, it needs to be said that we are not DIY people. Never has this been more obvious than when we tried to stain those $20 raw wood Ikea nightstands. We basically gave up on them, and have been using these pathetic excuses for nightstands for almost a year. They’re also really small, with sorry excuses for drawers. So, we’re looking forward to replacing them with a nightstand from Urban Outfitters and a dresser from Ikea:

and to top it off, we’re painting. This is going to be the toughest, because we don’t want a repeat of the shade looking good on the swatch, but not on the walls. We’ll paint little samples, of course, but would love any tips on finding the right shade off the bat. I’m also really terrible with finding inspiration colors and then not being able to match them to swatches well. So here is what we’re going for:



Side note: how freaking cute is that dog? Sunday would look just as cute in that room.

So, this transformation will take awhile to save up for and complete, but I’m looking forward to the process! I would love any tips from you renovation and design goddesses (I’m talking to you, Kelsey, Amanda,¬†Kristin, and Nicole!)

%d bloggers like this: